IMG_0332The Embassy of the Republic of South Sudan in Germany is participating for a second time at the International Tourism Bourse (ITB Berlin) being held in its 48th edition of from 5th to 9th March 2014 in Berlin. The ITB is held annually at Messe Berlin (International Convention Center) and is the world’s largest international tourism trade fair.

ITB Berlin attracts more than 170,000 visitors every year; among them are almost 110,000 trade visitors and 10,147 exhibitors from 189 countries. All 26 exhibition halls at the Messe Berlin are fully booked for the event due to the regular very high turnout. ITB as the leading trade show for the tourism industry sees itself as a link between research and science, between companies, markets and societies. It utilizes this key position in order to actively encourage research and science and to engage in a dialogue with companies in their efforts to create economically, socially and ecologically responsible tourism products and services. ITB Berlin is also a leading knowledge platform. Exhibitors and trade visitors can find out about the latest trends and information on exploiting new markets such Travel Technology and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Travel (LGBT). The ITB provides senior buyers from the international tourism industry with access to an exclusive business circle with numerous benefits.

Mexico is the official partner country of this year’s event. Upon official nomination last year to be the partner country for 2014, Mexico’s tourism minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu said: “The decision to choose Mexico as the official partner country of ITB Berlin 2014 sends out a clear message and underlines the country’s importance as a travel destination and the awareness that Mexico and its destinations have in this important market.”

The Opening Ceremony of the ITB 2014 was organised by Mexico as the partner country of the ITB. H.E. Claudia Ruíz Massieu Salinas, Minister of Tourism, Mexico; Sigmar Gabriel, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy. During the show the Mexican Ministry of Tourism and the Mexican Tourism Board hosted numerous other events.

The Republic of South Sudan is represented at the ITB as an Exhibitor with a stand located in the Africa Hall of the ICC during the whole event from 5th to 9th March 2014. Ms. Modong Manuela Mogga travelled from South Sudan at the invitation of the Embassy to participate in the ITB in her capacity as Miss World Universe South Sudan.

Other African countries represented in the hall included Kenya, Morocco, Algeria, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Eritrea, Congo, the Gambia and Burundi as well as Rwanda.

David Scowsill, President & CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council indicates: “Travel & Tourism accounts for 258 million jobs globally. At US$6 trillion (9.1% of GDP) the sector is a key driver for investment and economic growth and at a global level. It is larger than the automotive industry at 8% GDP, and just smaller than banking at 11%. Our key challenge in the industry is to stimulate jobs and investment, eliminating barriers to travel such as visa restrictions, taxation, and outmoded infrastructure systems. I am confident that these issues will be addressed at Europe’s premier travel trade fair – ITB Berlin. It is the key place to learn about new trends, market developments, and to deepen existing business relations.